Thursday, April 01, 2010

I Hate To Say "I Told You So..."

...but, hey, some of us have been telling the industry this "so" for years! I got a release yesterday from NSSF on their newest NSSF/Harris poll. Here's the nut graf:
A new National Shooting Sports Foundation poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that more Americans are target shooting now than six months ago, and that “home and personal defense” were the main reasons Americans recently purchased firearms.
Bottom line — concealed carry, self-defense and competition are the engines that presently drive the gun business:
In response to a question about why Americans made their most recent firearm purchase, 40 percent of respondents said “home protection” followed by 36 percent citing “personal protection.” Target shooting (30 percent) and hunting (28 percent) came next.
Note that hunting came in 4th on that list. It wasn't that long ago that our trade organization said that the future of gun rights in America was "irrevocably" linked to hunting, and their massive survey of a couple of years back (which I had the temerity to question) delivered the same warmed-over crap and, unfortunately, sent the industry haring down the same dead-end paths.

We'll be talking about this more on the podcast next week...

14 comments:

Dillonhelp said...

Our experience is that hunters aren't shooters. Shooters are often hunters, but hunters seldom have a safe full of firearms. Hunters seem to drive the introduction of new, usually niche cartridges. Shooters drive innovation in firearms design.Sports change, animals don't. Let's face it, a 30-06 will do everything needed for big game in North America. 22 LR is still king for small game.Both are over 100 years old. Kinda a slender reed to base the hopes for an industry on.

Anonymous said...

Does "target shooting" = competition, tho?

You seem to have equated target shooting with competition in your post, but is it REALLY? Are the people who answered "target shooting" casual shooters who shoot sporting clays or falling plates for fun but who have never entered a competition?

The answer to that question would be interesting.

I would also like to know how big a slice of the pie shotgunning, handgun, and rifle have among the target shooters.

DamDoc said...

I was definately brought back to the gun world by the obama scare.. I hunted as a kid, and into my 30s, but had not shot a gun fo 20 years... since the big O came onto the radar screen, i have taken a training course, obtained a ccw in maine, nh, and utah, jointed a range (my target shooting = training, not competition), added 3 AR's, two hand guns, a 10/22 rifle, an 870 and an old 1894 octagonal.. now i am focusing on more training, non-competition shooting (keeping the ammo guys in business), and starting to think about how i can start reloading (my wife says it is time to put my new hobbie on a budget/allowance basis!)... There are more guns in my future plans, but I am working on the infrastructure for a while first.. In summary, I think MB's read is correct if I am any example...

TM said...

The big box retailers, Scheels, Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, etc., are totally geared for hunting. It is to them as if recreational shooting and self-defense do not exist. They are so far behind the curve they may never catch up.

Anonymous said...

Target shooting is not competition as we think of competition, ie an organized endeavor with metrics and multiple participant. However, the study does not have a way of accurately measuring that. I think it looks at the entire group as a range of activity starting with the plinker who goes to the range to have fun punching holes in paper, all the way up to those battling for national and international titles. It goes from casual user to "super user" in this category. There are always a smaller number of competition shooters because the super user universe is always smaller. Think of it as the top of the pyramid and this survey tells us the overall size of that pyramid.

Defens said...

Another observation is that hunters, although somewhat protected by tradition and historical use, face not only the decline of hunting rights - as areas become off limits and game tags become more and more subject to lotteries and limited hunts - but their gun rights as well.
And although many hunters are urban dwellers, obviously the sport is a rural or wilderness affair, undertaken for limited durations on a seasonal basis.

In contrast, self defense is something you (can) do every day. Highly urbanized folk have a much more intensive need for a self defense weapon than a rancher who already has a couple of rifles for deer and varmints. As the laws change and allow better access of city dwellers to self defensive weapons, this market continues to expand - and the expansion continues at an accelerating rate.

Unless some entirely new hunting sport arrives on the scene - or some new pest species arrives that just cries out to be obliterated, it's hard to believe that hunting is going to be the market segment that ultimately preserves our gun rights.

ExurbanKevin said...

The big box retailers, Scheels, Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, etc., are totally geared for hunting. It is to them as if recreational shooting and self-defense do not exist. They are so far behind the curve they may never catch up.

It's not just them. Look at the major sportsman's networks (not pointing any fingers here, but the one I'm thinking of rhymes with "Backdoor Panel" :) ). For 6 1/2 days each week, their programming consists of men and women going off to the four corners of the world to hunt various and sundry critters. Then, for only one night a week, they cover the stuff that's actually the most important to the shooting community.

Now maybe they have the ratings numbers to back up their decision to show Celebrity Ibex Hunting reruns instead of more personal defense-oriented shows, but it seems to me there's a big audience out here that's still relatively ignored by the TV networks.

KMitch200 said...

The big box retailers, Scheels, Cabelas, Sportsmans Warehouse, etc., are totally geared for hunting. It is to them as if recreational shooting and self-defense do not exist.

I disagree with this statement.
Sure, it's camo and camping wonderland but "totally geared for hunting?"
Cabela's and Sportsmans would be hard pressed to carry more shooting stuff than they do now. They are a shooters Mecca!!

Guns, primers, powders, cases, bullets, dies, presses, case prep tools, reloading books, targets, factory ammo, (from generic plinking stuff to top of the line defensive loads)....what else could a shooter want?? Or need??
I could have walked out of Cabela's yesterday with any or ALL of the items a shooter and reloader could use.
(Yes, they had primers. Real expensive ones)

Just 'cause you can book a hunting trip there and buy all the gear for it doesn't mean they don't support target/recreational/self defense shooters.

Anonymous said...

"what else could a shooter want?? Or need??"

You don't know what you're missing. It's like thinking the NYT is a well-written and balanced news source because it's your only news source.

Just off the top of my head - better cheaper targets. Ammo that is even cleaner and more envirnomentally friendly, but cheaper too.

Sports goggles instead of shooting glasses; hearing protection that plays music; targets that download their results to your computer; smart guns.

What would a home defense enthusiast want? Bullet proof drywall, bullet resistant paint & primer, bullet proof external doors, bullet proof internal doors, bullet proof carpet and laminate flooring. Bullet proof light fixtures.

TM said...

It is nice the big box retailers have their apologists. It is hoped they can influence these businesses to stop acting as if it is still 1956. Until then, I will continue to do 90% of my shopping online, as I have done for the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

To "Anonymous @ 5:22 A. M.;
I think that you're at the wrong "blog". I think that you were looking for the "Michael BANAL blog".
Life Member

KMitch200 said...

Anonymous said...
You don't know what you're missing.
Just off the top of my head - better cheaper targets. Ammo that is even cleaner and more envirnomentally friendly, but cheaper too.


Sure...but I want FREE ammo that I could eat in an emergency and doesn't require me to clean my guns ever again. Where do you get yours if Cabelas or Sheels doesn't carry it?
Better, cheaper targets? You spend a lot of money on targets?
Try using your imagination a little more.

Sports goggles instead of shooting glasses; hearing protection that plays music; targets that download their results to your computer; smart guns.

I like my shooting glasses. When I needed "sports goggles", I went to a store that sold them. I don't need hearing protection that plays music - if I did, I would have bought the ProEars with the plug in feature. And no, I don't miss it. When I shoot the one thing I DON'T need is music being piped into my earmuffs. But you can have them if you want.

Targets that download into my computer? Really! This is seems ridiculous for anyone but a shooting school for the Olympics or a VERY high end, expensive shooting venue for the well financed.

Smart guns???
Are you friggin' kidding me!
Who are you anymouse, Sarah Brady? She and Josh Sugarbrain are big on those.

My guns are DAMN SMART. They hit exactly where they were pointed when the sear broke!

What would a home defense enthusiast want? Bullet proof drywall, bullet resistant paint & primer, bullet proof external doors, bullet proof internal doors, bullet proof carpet and laminate flooring. Bullet proof light fixtures.

You really should shoot more on this planet.

HungrySeagull said...

Not only I shoot regularly in all weathers, outdoors and inside; I also study the law that applies to Conceal Carry and plan my trips and errands into low threat/low crime areas. I have ceased to spend time, money or business in high threat urban areas. I started off with a Remington 870 and finished with a .45 on a ported barrel. We are improving our home for better security as well. what more can you ask for?

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